Scouting Report: Max Fried
NAME: Max Fried
SCHOOL: Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
HT/WT: 6'4"/170 lbs
DRAFTED: 1st round (7th overall), San Diego Padres
Body: Tall and slender with little muscular development that can add weight, strength, and overall muscular development.
Fastball: Fried throws from a mid to high 3/4 slot, that typically runs a bit higher than most left handed pitchers. He throws mainly 90-93, but can sneak the 4S up to 95 mph that has been in later innings. Since it is a 3/4 delivery, it has natural tailing movement off the hand side and he does a good job of delaying the look making the pitch play up faster than the offering. He has a natural sinking 2S that I have seen run up to 91 mph, others assure me that it went up to 92 mph this spring. This was a nice hard action drop that with time and maturation could make it a staple offering in his arsenal. Since he has some room for growth, there is a good chance the overall grade of the fastball can improve to plus with strength and size added to the frame.
4S: 5.0 (5.5/6.0)
2S: 4.0 (6.0)
Curve: This pitch flashes some potential with a nice bite through the zone. The 3/4 slot makes this pitch inconsistent and time will improve the offering, as well as some upper body strength/stability in the arm. The command of this pitch wavers because the speed and release point are not quite there at this time on a consistent basis, adding the arm slot it can spike and loop through the zone.. He can release this pitch from 79 -72 mph, but I prefer the speed in the 74/75 range when I saw the best action. Seeing the impressive spin and down hill bite, this can have plus potential down the line, and it would not shock me to see him surpass into plus-plus territory as a pro.
CB: 4.0/4.5 (6.0/6.5/7.0)
Change Up: He shows a real hard hand side movement that will fade away from right handed hitters and nice drop into the left side. Real good feel for a high school pitcher and nicest commanded pitch in his arsenal. Ran 80-82 mph in my scope this spring, but routinely stays 80-84 mph. He shows the ability to throw from the slot and expect late action through the zone. This pitch has some real potential to be swing and miss as a professional.
CH: 5.0 (6.5/7.0)
Command: This is what is making him a surefire top half of round one talk. He can keep these pitches all down in the zone and did not miss the mitt very often when I saw this spring. Works both sides of the plate well for a high school kid and is not afraid of pushing it inside against right handed pitchers. Tends to ride slightly lower and higher in the 3/4 and this is from a maturation standpoint, I fully feel the release point can be ironed out to be a borderline plus command.
Control: The spin control of the curve is his area of weakness and this will improve as he turns into a professional. He can loose his release point and something that will iron out as a professional. I think I might be a bit bearish right now based on the limited view this spring, but seen him over the years and feel this is where he can improve to reach those front line starter projections.
Mechanics: There is little wasted motion and the pitches move effortless out of the hand. Real methodical delivery with fast arm speed and loose actions. There is borderline elevation occurring, but the relationship between the elbow and shoulders should bear no issues down the line. Very good push and drive from the lower half. His stride length at its's best is very impressive. He tends to repeat often, but it does go short at times. Really good downhill release and extension over the front half, this could continue to improve and an aspect that I would continue to push as he develops, as he can pull up abruptly on occasion.
Overall: You would be selecting a very athletic kid with intangibles and feel for pitching that is better than your average high school lefty. He has a good idea of how to set up hitters and willing to work off any pitch. He shows a nice foundation that could see three above average to plus offering from the left side. A lot of it is still projectable; his ceiling is tied to maturation, the ability to improve velocity and movement of both types of fastballs.
High ceiling: There is some thinking that a tick improvement on the fastball with improved control of the CB, he could be an effective 1-2 punch with a deadfish CH in the pocket. Basically a poor 1 or very, very strong number 2
Low ceiling: The change up and sinker can make him a solid ground ball arist and an asset in any bullpen as a lefty specialist.
Safe professional Estimation: Solid number 2 or 3 pitcher in a rotation with the ability to keep the ball on the ground and in the park.
Comparisons: Jimmy Key, Barry Zito